Carers Awareness Week 2019 - Themed Article
Its 2019! Its Carers awareness Week! It’s the week to celebrate all thing Carers! It’s time we connected with those amazing carers! The mix is home to very few carers, but that doesn’t stop us from being amazing at what we do and needing to break down the barriers of isolation and needing to stay connected with people of a similar age. Carers are more likely to slip through the system if there isn’t an open place for them to talk about the roles and get the support, its why there has been a lot of support being put up on the boards recently to help carers get a voice.
Young Carers System/groups
The young carers groups are a wonderful thing and a lifeline to young carers growing up. It keeps carers connected and reduces the isolating carers feel. Here are 2 statements from 2 carers who have been in the system, each have had different experiences. Their experience doesn’t mean you will experience the same.
**Please note this are our experience don’t let this put you off going to a session**
The point we hold is each person experience is different. Each group are different due to funding, some groups are supported by regular funding such as County council and some are run solely by volunteers and rely heavily on public and private donations, also how far each group has to cover has a big impact. In some areas there are multiple groups running whereas in others there is 1 group which has to support all the young carers in the area.
Online vs in person
As a writer I want to share all ways carers can stay connected as 8 out of 10 carers describe themselves as lonely or socially isolated. I want to break down the stigma to being connected. Most believe being connected you have to see people face-to-face and get out of the house. Studies have proved that carers who stay connected online are more likely to continue fighting and feel more supported than the once a week or once a term some carers get from local services. Before carers trust dropped their online services each service Babble, Matter and Carers Group (supported adult carers) team each help many people and opened up the line of contact for many carers who can’t make it out to coffee mornings. As the digital world improves and robots learn to the ironing but one job that can’t be done by robots is supporting our family as the demands on the NHS will be growing so the support for young carers will increase.
+ You take away the physical eye contact and awkwardness.
+ Support on a regular basis without having to make an appointment.
+ Meet other who are similar age.
- You have to share the time with others.
- Might not be heard fully.
- Feel like people don’t truly understanding how hard it is for you.
+ More information can be passed on.
+ You can feel and understood.
+ Your aware that you’re not the only one who is a carer.
- Due to the high demands on staff carers can go months without seeing someone.
- People can slip through the system without being noticed.
- There is more planning required in a face to face which might stop carer from seeking the support.
Activities that can be done at young carers
There are a wide variety and range of activities that can be done at young carers and I’m going to run you through some of the main ones you may come across in your service.
***these are trips that my local young carers service run that I am using as example, your service may or may not run these trips***
- Clubs/Groups where you might:
- Play outdoor games in the summer
- Listening to music
- Socialize with other young carers Around your age
- A chance to speak to a YC member of staff if something is troubling you
Day Trips during a weekend or School Holiday such as:
- Going to the seaside
- To the cinema
- To a local theme park
- Visit a local University (this is more aimed at the top age range for a young carer around 13/14 up to 18)
- Bowling, swimming and trampolining parks.
- Local Farm park (Aimed at that primary school carers)
Finally, a lot of young carers services across the UK sometimes take a small group of young carers from about age 12 up to 17 to the young carers festival which runs in Southampton normally in the last weekend of June.
Young adult/adult carers groups
Going into unknown territory here young adult carers activities. Most young adult carers group we are aware of join the adult service. These 2 groups often run:
- Coffee mornings
- Hospitality therapy
- Day trips such as:
- boat trips
- Trips to other towns
- Masquerade balls
- Quiz days
These are a mix of statistic on likeliness to feeling lonely and becoming lonely
- Carers who had felt lonely or isolated were almost twice as likely to report worsened mental (77%) and physical (67%) health.
- Regular breaks from caring roles (57%)
- More understanding from society (52%)
- Being able to take part in leisure activities (40%)
- Being able to take part in leisure activities (40%)
- Support paying for social activities (31%)
- More understanding at work (30%)
- Being in touch with other carers (29%)
- Feeling more able to talk to friends and family (23%)
- Being able to take part in education or training (21%
- certain caring circumstances are linked to lonelier care experiences, such as younger carers under 24 years old (89%)
- carers of disabled children (93%),
- people who care for 50 hours or more per week (86%)
- ‘sandwich carers’ who look after loved ones alongside parenting responsibilities (86%).
This year’s topic is so important, as modern technology gets better we need to keep connecting to those around us in new ways if that is through a group chat online like what the mix offers with group chats or even chat between a friends over Facebook, simple things like that can reduce loneliness within carers.
I want to leave you with 1 thought, how can you help someone feel less lonely today?
Resource from the mix and whats on the board: